The curious history of the Ferrari logo
Ferrari S.p.A is a sports car manufacturing company from Italy. It has it headquarters in Maranello, Italy. The company was founded by Enzo Ferrari in the year 1929. Curiously enough, Enzo Ferrari was an Italian motor racer driver but at the same time he was also an entrepreneur. The Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team was founded by him.
Initially the company was called Scuderia Ferrari and it sponsored drivers and only manufactured racing cars. Then it slowly moved into making vehicles which were used on the roads by commoners.
Now the story behind the logo of Ferrari is very interesting. The black horse that we see on the logo was painted on the fighter airplane of a heroic airman named Francesco Baracca. Count Francesco Baracca was one of Italy’s top gun fighter pilot during World War I. He had as many as 34 aerial accomplishments to his name.
Francesco Baracca had great success with a plane called Nieuport 11 which was a single seat fighter plane that was commissioned in April 1916. On the historic day of 7th April 1916, Baracca had his first victory when he damaged the fuel tank of an Austrian Hansa-Brandenburg C.I and also wounded its two man crew. Incidentally it was also the first aerial victory of Italy in the war. Baracca was originally from the cavalry regiment. So as a symbol of tribute to his cavalry regiment, Baracca adopted a personal symbol or logo of that black prancing horse on his Nieuport 17 later on.
Now Enzo Ferrari said that he met Count Enrico Baracca, the father of Francesco Baracca and then his mother countess Paulina who said “Ferrari, put my son’s prancing horse on your cards. It will bring you good luck.” Then Ferrari went on to say “the horse was, and still is, black, and I added the canary yellow backgournd which is the colour of Modena.” Modena was the birthplace of Ferrari.
In 1932 the horse in a shield logo appeared for the first time in the Alpha Romeo cars of the Scuderia racing team. Then in 1947 the shield was changed to a rectangle and the prancing horse appeared against a yellow background in the 125 S cars.
The 125 S was the first Ferrari road car powered by a 1.5KL V12 engine. Also the colours of the Italian flag appeared at the top part of the rectangle in the logo. The letters ‘S’ and ‘F’ were also dropped from the logo and only “Ferrari” was written instead.
Thus the brand and the logo Ferrari was born and the rest as they say is history.